Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love and Travel

Univ. of Nebraska. Oct. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9781496222848. pap. $19.95. TRAV
In this different kind of travel memoir, Roberts (creative writing, Sierra Nevada Univ.; Almost Somewhere) admits to being a bad tourist (committing cultural gaffes, for example) in various locales ranging from England, Ireland, and Scotland, to Greece, India, Mongolia, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Ecuador, and Peru. The work is organized into categories, including “Sights,” “Sleeping,” “Eating & Drinking,” “Spas & Beauty Treatments,” “Activities, Festivals & Special Events,” “Getting There & Away,” and “Dangers & Annoyances,” with the author’s deeply personal and sometimes cringe-worthy vignettes spanning 2002–18. Roberts has a poet’s ear for lyrical prose, but reading her mundane and sometimes graphic revelations, especially about her interactions with imperfect strangers, feels like peeking at an older sister’s diary. Here, readers can let go of their expectations and immerse themselves in unfiltered thoughts and a complicated love life, here and abroad.
VERDICT Travelers who enjoy intrepid experiences, with strong language, will savor this book.
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